Since I started broadcasting with Shoutcast on its release date in 1998, most of my Internet broadcasting efforts have been quite structured. Early on in the history of Shoutcast, I came up with a project that never quite saw the light of day, the Hear Today Network. The idea was that a bunch of blind people would get together on a Shoutcast server and make an Internet radio station. Shoutcast was so new then, and bandwidth less abundant, that finding a good hosting provider was a bit of a mission. The Hear Today Network failed because I couldn’t find someone who was willing to come up with the bandwidth at a cost I could afford back then.
Thanks to Live365.com and the ACB, that idea did eventually become a reality when I started ACB Radio Interactive while directing ACB Radio.
Since then, all of the Internet broadcast I’ve done has been on these sorts of teams, and for the most part, it’s been great.
When I concluded that I just couldn’t continue with the massive commitment that managing Mushroom FM represented, I fully expected any one of a number of people I felt comfortable passing it on to would keep it going. It didn’t seem right to compete for listeners so quickly with my former colleagues on the station I created, and I felt like I really needed a complete break. As it turned out, other people I considered potential replacements for me were too sensible, and wanted a life, so there is now no Mushroom FM.
I want to say first how pleased I am to see a number of new projects emerging to help full the vacuum Mushroom FM’s departure has created, some of which are making brilliant use of social media. And I also want to thank people who’ve been kind enough to tweet, Audioboo, and email about Mushroom FM and the Mosen Explosion.
My show has been named that since 2002, but really I consider the Sunday Smorgasbord, whose name I had to change because the show moved days, the beginning of this format, and that started in 2000. 13 years, with a few breaks, is a long time, and it’s been on a number of stations. People’s very generous comments, and the fact that I don’t have the pressures of managing a large Internet radio project, have given me a sense of perspective and motivation that was previously lacking. Michael Feir, in a very generous Audioboo, talked about the sense of community surrounding the Explosion. I agree. I hope the show has always been welcoming of new listeners, but the reality is that a lot of us have been together for a very long time, in many cases, long before Mushroom FM.
This Sunday is 8 December. It’s the anniversary of John Lennon’s death, it’s the day of the Wellington Christmas parade and many of you have remarked on how much they enjoyed Heidi giving us audio description in 2010 as we brought you binaural audio from the parade, and it’s time for playing Christmas music. I really want to share all those things with the people who became my friends through this show, while having no desire at all to be part of an Internet radio station. So I’ll be there, on air at 2 Eastern on Sunday, in a slightly different way.
What I really want, is the ability to just do the show and then have no other responsibilities where Internet radio is concerned for the rest of the week. I also want to be a bit less disciplined if the mood takes me. If I’m on a roll and I want to broadcast longer, I want to broadcast longer. If I feel like running a little shorter one week, I’ll do that. If I just feel like getting away for the weekend, maybe there’ll be some shows I miss.
So rather than being a part of any radio project, I’m going to try and see what happens if I do what I intended doing in 2010. I now have a little server set up and all ready to go. And on Sundays, I’ll just fire it up and let it roll, reminding people what’s coming up via Twitter, my Explosion email lists, Facebook, and a new website which may or may not be quite ready for this Sunday.
It’s a different way of doing things for me, but it represents a much smaller commitment than the one I was previously making, and is a bit less rigid. It is what I feel I can manage in this attempt to get a better work/life balance. And the fact is, I really do miss hearing about what the regulars are up to and what they think about things.
I’ll publish further information about how to listen closer to Sunday via Twitter, this blog and other places, and very much hope you’ll join me in exploding once again at 2 PM Eastern, 7 PM in the UK, on Sunday.